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SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES

Who Are You Living For? Deep within our being, we know whether we are sacrificing ourselves or holding back from God

Photo: © iStock.com/esolla

BY COMMISSIONER ROSALIE PEDDLE

Through our year-long Spiritual Disciplines series, writers have shared insights on practising the disciplines of study, meditation, service, silence, celebration, prayer, worship, simplicity, confession, fasting and retreat. Commissioner Rosalie Peddle ends the series with a reminder to practise sacrificial living.

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od has redeemed us from darkness, sin and death and adopted us as his children, so when he asks us to surrender our lives to him as living sacrifices, we should respond. But what does it mean to live sacrificially? It’s when you surrender your life to God unconditionally. When our hearts and minds are focused on him, he becomes relevant to every part of life and empowers us to live with love, grace and courage. Living sacrificially means aligning ourselves with God’s will and freedom. In her book, Aggressive Christianity, Catherine Booth urges Salvationists to “Show the world a real, living, self-sacrificing, hardworking, toiling, triumphing religion and the world will be influenced by it, but anything less they will turn around and spit upon.” The Apostle Paul urges the Christians in Rome, “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1). This image refers 30 • May 2014 • Salvationist

to the idea of religious sacrifice common to his world, and especially to how it was understood in the Jewish tradition of animal sacrifice in the temple at Jerusalem. What we are to offer up to God is nothing less than ourselves. Paul clearly expresses it as giving up our bodies to God as an offering. Our bodies are the best we have to offer because we live in them. Tied up in our bodies and minds are all our emotions, thoughts, desires and plans. If our bodies totally belong to God, he will have our free time, our pleasures and all our behaviour. To live sacrificially is to invite Jesus to be Lord of our whole lives. Our hands are to be given to him, to be used to bring him honour and glory. Our feet are to be given to him, to walk in his ways and focus on his mission. Our hearts are to be given to him, to be kept clean, pure and holy. We need to lay aside our desires to follow, trust and allow God to lead and guide our lives. Our sacred covenant and commitment to Christ requires the offering of our lives in surrender, simplicity, submission and service. In Conformed to His Image, Kenneth Boa writes, “Only when we are surrendered to Christ are we able to serve people in the power of the Spirit. In this way we are inviting Jesus to love and serve people through you. Ministry gifting and callings are manifold (teaching, evangelism, service to the poor and needy, discipleship, encouragement, hospitality, missions), but they must always be centred on Christ rather than ends in themselves.” As Christians we know whether we are being sacrificial in what we do, by each attitude and action we express. We know deep within our being whether we are sacrificing ourselves or holding back. It is only through our sacrificial living that we can courageously and effectively introduce the truths and values of the kingdom of God into this world. Pressures and ridicule from those in the world often distract Christians to compromise their convictions. We must never let culture shape our Christian values and determine our priorities. The Lord is looking for faithful men, women and youth who will stand up for truth in a world that is increasingly opposed to the truths of the gospel. Respond to God’s call to live sacrificially so that Jesus will be seen in our world through the lives of his people.

Time to Reflect 1. What is your definition of sacrificial living? 2. What is it like when God shows up at an unexpected moment? 3. How do you keep your finger on the pulse of what God is doing in your soul? 4. Where does concern for the injustices of this world fit into your lifestyle? 5. What is God asking you to change in order to live sacrificially? Commissioner Rosalie Peddle is the territorial president of women’s ministries and territorial secretary for spiritual life development for the Canada and Bermuda Territory.

Enjoyed the series? Let us know if it has enriched your faith. E-mail salvationist@can.salvationarmy.org.


Salvationist - May 2014